Property owners in coastal regions often encounter extraordinary amounts of water damage at different points during the year. In a matter of days, the record-setting hurricane season of 2017 inflicted damage of various proportions to property owners across Florida. However, there are a number of unrelated causes of water damage property owners still have to account for, including leaking roofs, damaged pipes, malfunctioning sprinklers and flooding dishwashers, to name a few.
How Water Damage Spreads
Property owners need to be aware that water can seep through the floor joints and the walls to electrical wiring. Cleaning with bleach is not enough to remove the health risks mold growth presents. When the water evaporates, mold spores can be transferred to HVAC systems and subsequently spread throughout the property once the furnace is turned back on.
Assessing the Water Damage
In order to recover from any type of water damage, the property owner or restorer needs to investigate how to stop the problem at its source. The severity of the damage is often traumatizing and overwhelming, regardless of the actual source. The key principles for restoring normalcy after water damage are stopping the leak, stabilizing the situation and repairing the source of the problem.
Responding to Water Damage
First and foremost, be sure to get all the pets and people away from the dangerous area and shut down the source of the water damage as soon as possible. It’s important to always prioritize safety over rushing in hastily. Avoid stepping right into the water, because the power will probably still be on. For simple spills, turn the water flow off to the fixture or appliance and turn the appliance off right away.
Managing Significant Water Damage
You can start mopping up a small spill right away, but you’ll probably need to contact a damage mitigation professional who can help remove water from porous surfaces. For broken pipes and other nonstop cascades, the water supply for the entire property should be shut off immediately. When there is flooding, property owners need to wait until the water level subsides before they can begin the cleanup and restoration.
Recovering from Water Damage
After the water recedes, property owners should remove all heirlooms and valuables out of the restoration area. Assessing the damage to the property is the next step. The water damage can be visible or undetectable by the eye throughout the property. Many property owners enlist the help of restoration professionals to help plan with the rebuild and compliance with safe practices.
The conduit in the walls, the area long the pipes and the flooring are the sections of the property, are likely to suffer the most water damage. Mitigation professionals use sensors to detect where the water caused damage and how much of the materials would have to be removed so the interior can dry sufficiently. Property owners should then begin documenting the damage and archiving photos as they begin stabilizing the property.
The quicker property owners begin working with a mitigation professional, the more likely they are to avoid suffering any secondary damage in the future.